For its outstanding accomplishments in organic agriculture, the Philippines, represented by the  Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Soils and Water Management (DA-BSWM), was conferred the “Outstanding Country” award by the Asian Food and Agriculture Cooperation Initiative (AFACI) during the AFACI Program Workshop on Basic Agriculture held on August 18 to 22, 2015 in Hanoi, Vietnam.

The Philippines leads  the ten Asian member countries under AFACI’s Asian Network for Sustainable Farming Technology (ANSOFT).

The program workshop attended by BSWM Assistant Director Sonia M. Salguero was organized for the member countries to create high-impact results on the basic agriculture programs being implemented in each country. The activity served as a venue for the BSWM to impart its knowledge about the high-impact results of the DA’s Organic Agriculture and Agri-Pinoy Corn Program.

BSWM Executive Director and the Head of ANSOFT-Philippines, Dr. Silvino Q. Tejada said that the country’s award was a recognition of the people behind the ANSOFT-Philippines who work to provide new ideas and technologies to make farming in the Philippines as competitive as other Asian countries.

ANSOFT-Philippines was launched in September 2014 in Camiguin Province where organic agriculture model technologies were adopted in all its municipalities in a bid to declare itself as an “organic province.”

The BSWM intends to allot the US$2,000 cash prize it received  for the training of fresh college graduates, opening new opportunities for the youth and for the development of organic agriculture, particularly in Mindanao.

Salguero received the award for the Philippines as the ANSOFT “Outstanding Country” in Hanoi, Vietnam. ### (Loraine Cerillo, DA-BSWM)